The weather closed in and there was no prospect of the kids doing sport. Being stuck with them all afternoon and the grey all over made her think of the book.

‘OK, kids we’re going to do a project…’

Later that night she shuffled the papers. The many loves of 2J. Prakash loved soccer and ice cream. Lindy loved cats. Little Ken, the rough and tumble kid from the big family loved his big sister. They all loved hearts—the curly symbols proliferated.

She took them to the study and turned on her scanner. Half an hour later she was adding this years pages, printed on clean white paper, into the book of love. Then she put on her coat, took her umbrella from the hall cupboard, and, with a quick fluff of her hair, headed down the street to Manny’s and the stool at the dark end of the bar.

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